Friday, July 24, 2009

STbtM 029: Roommates

Previous: Ship of Fools

McCoy continues: "I'm a doctor Jim, I'm busy." Kirk asks "Bones, it doesn't bother you that no one's ever passed the test?" "Jim, it's the Kobayashi Maru, no one passes the test and no one goes back for seconds, let alone thirds." Supposedly, the "No Win Scenario" exam given by StarFleet to cadets is designed to assess their character and abilities dealing with zugzwang. Based on this conversation, cadets now have the opportunity to "go back for seconds" and "thirds" to redo major assessments by tests which consume significant time, people and equipment. I'm sure any student or cadet at an academy can tell you how realistic this is! Kirk slaps Bones on the shoulder as he bolts off with "I gotta study!" and we see the doctor watch Kirk hustling away, mumbling "Study, my ass!"

We cut to Kirk making out with a buxom green orion girl "Gaila" who says to him "Jim, I think I love you," to which the ever-romantic Kirk replies "That is so weird…" "Lights! Dijyoo just say 'That's so weird'?" "I did, but…" "You doh love me too?" and then we see lights and hear sounds indicating a door opening. From the intensity of the light, someone is successfully creating unshielded nuclear fusion in the hallway. Gaila says: "That's my roommate." Kirk says: "I thought you said she was gone for the night." "Well obviously she isn't. Quick, you've got to get under the bed," and she starts to hustle him onto the floor with "She can't see you here." "Why not?" he asks. "Because I promised her I'd stop bringing guys back to the room." "Wha… wheh… How many guys have you brought back to the room?" OK, this is pretty funny, but completely out of place for someone declaring "I love you" in a sexual encounter. One would expect "I love you" as a comment reserved for those we have known longer than a couple of hours, as it appears Kirk has not even met the roommate.

Gaila starts waving Kirk down under the bed as Uhura comes walking around a translucent divider. When I saw this, I thought Uhura must be cranking the iPod or deaf, since she came from a silent hallway and is standing in a very small room which is completely quiet except for the two people excitedly discussing something. It's unfortunately just another mistake by the film makers, as we see when Uhura detects Kirk by his soft breathing while hidden and muffled… Although written as a sex kitten with crippling dialog, Gaila's character was played wonderfully by Rachel Emily Nichols.

Kirk watches Uhura come in and undress as the roommates greet each other. Uhura says, "It was the strangest thing: I was in the long range sensor lab…" "Yeah, I thought all night." "I was tracking solar systems and I picked up an emergency transmission." Ridiculous. There is only one solar system, which includes our sun "Sol" and its planetary system. "Star system" sometimes refers to a single star and its system of orbiting planets. Whichever term one prefers, "solar systems" are not what one would track. By the way, why is one of the best cadet specialists in xenolinguistics spending her final year at the academy doing stellar cartography in a long range sensor lab? OK, maybe the lab includes subspace communications gear and her tracking stuff that she doesn't even know the name of was for the purpose of picking up some Klingon. But the Kelvin Incident already established that the border with the klingons is too far away for any StarFleet help, or even from other members of the Federation. In other words, it's REALLY far.

"Really?" asks Gaila. "Yeah" says Uhura, stripping off her sweater, "…from a Klingon prison planet." Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of appreciating sexy women, but at some point, doesn't it get a little insulting if EVERY portrayal is insubstantial? After re-reading that last sentence I realize that all the characters are insubstantial, and just seem to randomly escape, obtain rewards, and benefit from miracles, so relatively speaking, Gaila's all-too brief role is not bad.

Next: Kobayashi Maru Begins

4 comments:

Lionel Braithwaite said...

Based on this conversation, cadets now have the opportunity to "go back for seconds" and "thirds" to redo major assessments by tests which consume significant time, people and equipment. I'm sure any student or cadet at an academy can tell you how realistic this is!

Hey, dufus, remember this little line from Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, uttered by Spock: 'The Kobayashi Maru frequently plays havoc with cadets and equipment; as I recall, you took the test three times yourself'. Note that:three times. THREE!!!! Obviously, you have your head so far up your ass with regards to what you think about this movie, you've been missing those details in your quixotic quest to destroy this movie. What's next, genius?

BurntSynapse said...

Hi Lionel,

I'm sorry my objections were unclear, and I appreciate the opportunity to clarify. The problem is not that the test was taken 3 times, it was that the test was portrayed as being Kirk's option. In WoK, we are shown equipment exploding and in both films, the test is a major episode with a full crew of cadets we can reasonably assume are sufficiently experienced to be qualified for starship bridge operations and command. Presenting the test within this context is my main objection, and I would also claim that this "context" objection is further supported by Spock's claim that the purpose of the test was to have the cadet's "experience fear", which repeated tests would clearly have no value in this regard.

Flashman85 said...

Your comment about the brightness of the hallway is the funniest thing I've read all week. Thank you. XD

BurntSynapse said...

Thanks Flash!

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